Theories of Marx - Human Action and Social Structure, Alienation and False Consciousness

1785 WordsJun 3, 20128 Pages
In this seminar, I seek to analyse, discuss and evaluate the theories of Marx. Firstly, I will analyse the relationship between human action and social structure. Having completed the analysis, I will move on further to discuss and exemplify his theory of alienation. Lastly I will evaluate his theory of false consciousness. Question 1 Human action and social structure are extremely prevalent in the works of Marx. In terms of the workers and capitalist classes, he postulates that they are not free but rather actors of the capitalist system. The workers are forced into labour to make a living, the force of circumstance (Elster, 1986:29) while the capitalist is forced to keep themselves in business. Elster (1986:29) argues that this is…show more content…
He has thus become alienated from normality and has become an appendage of the machine. In the movie, “Daens” we see the women and children working on the machines in the factory, not able to communicate amongst themselves and in the case of the government coming to investigate them, they weren't able to converse in French as they could only speak Flemish, thus further enforcing the disconnection factor. In order to become un-alienated and work toward becoming the 'whole man' where everyone is part of one class, is able to support their family and their every need and has enough free time and is still able to work as Marx wished in his efforts, the workers would have to take risks to get out of their situation and keep trying to overthrow capitalism, as in the case of the movie, “Daens” where we witness them taking the dead child out on to the streets. This risk however is quickly averted by the capitalists as they have the means, the money and the knowledge to get their workers back to work. They simply call in a favour from the local police and then fire all those who marched. The instigator or initial risk taker (the woman who met Daens) is then punished further with rape as a means of enforcing their domination over the working class. Question 3 False consciousness is termed in the context of the work of Marx as a statement of our existence, it is not our consciousness that determines our existence, but
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